Friday, 26 February 2010
Now that LLC is four weeks old Chris and I decided that we’d try to put her down to bed around 8pm as opposed to 10:30/11pm as we’d been doing. She may still wake up for a 10:30/11pm dream feed but our hope is that we’ll get to eat dinner together rather than in shifts or with an overtired baby on our knee. Could this help prevent LLC getting zonked and entering her witching hour while giving Chris and me some precious alone time?! – it was as though some kind soul switched on a light bulb in my baby addled brain.
Yet I don’t know if this plan will work. You know I like my lists. I also like my plans. But I’m learning that routines and plans don’t often fly, or at least fly for too long, with a newborn. I hope I don’t jinx us by saying it, but LLC has been pretty good at sleeping during the night. Sure, we’ve had our 2am screaming incidents or nights where she wakes up and then won’t settle. But more often than not, I read her a bedtime story while giving her a feed and can then place her, dozy but awake in her basinet, and she will put herself to sleep. This worked between 10-11pm but will it work earlier in the evening?
Our first several weeks were ad hoc with little semblance of order. Often a pattern I see emerging with LLC will shift after several days. I’ve been told by friends with experience that this is the name of the game with young babies. They remind me that routines emerge gradually and that I can’t force structure too soon. My fellow new mama NCT friends and I are now experiencing this reality. Still, it would be nice to find middle ground where I can encourage some semblance of order to LLC and my days without jumping on the Gina Ford bandwagon. Yet I’ve found even lighter touch Baby Whisperer Tracy Hogg’s less intense EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you) structure doesn’t always work – if LLC falls asleep following a feed I’m hard pressed to wake her for the activity phase of this "cycle".
Expert routines are all healthy food for thought, particularly when all this is new to me. Yet I can’t help thinking that I need to focus more on LLC’s needs, what I plan for us in a day, and how these can be reconciled. Then maybe gradually, some loose routine will take shape...